The US Justice Department had given Gov. Pat McCrory and our state until Monday to shut down HB2, which has cost North Carolina millions in canceled reservations, concerts and economic development plans; endangered some of our most vulnerable citizens; and turned us into a national punchline.

And instead of bowing to the inevitable tide of history and justice, our leaders dug in. To call it a “double-down” at this point would be inaccurate — this is more like a quintuple-down, and the stakes have been rising every week since the bill passed into law at a special session in March.

McCrory, state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger Sr. and their reptilian cronies have decided to treat the immediate economic fate of North Carolina like a game of chicken.

Before the feds’ deadline hit, the state filed not one but two legal motions against the federal government, the first seeking clarity of federal law as it pertains to LGBT North Carolinians, and the second asking the federal government to change the meaning of existing Title IX legislation so that our actions won’t be interpreted as illegal.

The third lawsuit of the day came from the Justice Department itself, delivered during a scorcher of a press conference by Greensboro native and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Washington, DC wherein she accused our elected leaders of violating the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Act, affecting federal contributions to the UNC System and the NC Department of Public Safety that total more than $2 billion.

“This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us,” she said.

One might think that with the number of lawyers safely ensconced in our political class, they’d know that the winner of this issue is not actually decided by who files the most lawsuits — but then, this is the crew that’s been passing illegal laws for six years.

Wake Forest University should ask Berger to return his law degree.

And McCrory should roll on his back and expose his belly like a dog that’s made a failed play against the Alpha. But that’s obviously not going to happen.

The lions of the NC GOP seem to think that kicking this can a little closer to the elections might give them the edge they need to keep their Congressional seats, retain the state legislature and deliver North Carolina to Donald Trump in the fall. Or perhaps their calculations are a lot more selfish — focused on McCrory’s re-election prospects and the state lawmakers retaining their supermajority.

Either way, they’ve been wrong about pretty much everything, which should give hope to the marginalized majority in the Old North State.

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